For Immediate Release
May 02, 2023
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Delta Waterfowl commends the Florida Senate and House of Representatives on their overwhelming approval of House Joint Resolution 1157. Introduced by Representative Lauren Melo, the proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine fishing and hunting as a public right is now poised to appear on the ballot box in 2024.
“Delta Waterfowl members in Florida and duck hunters everywhere were overwhelmed with joy watching this legislation—to help solidify the rights of sportsmen and women in the state’s constitution—pass through the legislature with near unanimous support and head to the ballot in 2024,” said Stacy Whittum, Delta Waterfowl regional director overseeing Florida and Georgia. Whittum was among dozens of hunting and conservation advocates present at the Florida Capitol in support of the legislation.
After passing the Florida House of Representatives 116-0 on April 25 and the Florida Senate 38-1 on April 28, it will officially appear on the ballot in the next general election in November 2024, where it will require approval from 60 percent of voters to pass and be enacted Jan. 7, 2025.
“Dozens of other states around the country already have constitutional protections for sportsmen and women codified into law,” said Cyrus Baird, senior director of government affairs for Delta Waterfowl. “At a time when the rights of hunters are constantly under attack, ensuring hunting, fishing, trapping, and harvesting wildlife continues to be the preferred means of managing wildlife species is critical in maintaining the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission estimates that the economic benefit of hunting and fishing in Florida is more than $14 billion annually, and sportsmen and women directly contribute millions of dollars each year to conservation efforts in the state through licenses, stamps, and tags yet the threats to hunting and fishing, and with it, wildlife conservation, are persistent.
“As Florida wrestles with more than 1,200 people moving to state each day, we are constantly at risk of losing our wild places and the people who fight to protect them,” said Whittum. “Constitutionally protecting the right to hunt and fish will preserve our hunting heritage and amplify the voices of all hunters in the Sunshine State. Delta Waterfowl looks forward to working during the next 18 months to rally support for this momentous ballot initiative.”
For more information, contact Cyrus Baird at (703) 254-6737 or email@example.com.
Delta Waterfowl Foundation is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the tradition of duck hunting in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.